Ross Wylie is relishing a busy year racing a brand-new Ferrari in two different championships. The Thornhill race ace will compete in the Britcar Endurance and GT Cup Championships, sharing a Ferrari 488 Challenge car with David Mason.
Ross contests the Britcar series for a third consecutive year, the Scotsman has won the title outright in 2017 and last year netting the Britcar Sprint S1 category with Mason. Wylie and Mason, who claimed two third-class placings in the opening Britcar races at Silverstone last weekend, are focussing on the GT Cup this year and only contesting selected Britcar events.
The former British GT4 champion netted class pole for the opening Britcar race last Saturday and led his class in the one-hour race until mid-distance. Unluckily, Wylie had his healthy advantage snatched away due to a Safety Car intervention, resulting in a third place in Class 2 for the Wylie/Mason Ferrari. Ross began Race 2 from 11th position on the 34-car grid but had incredibly sliced his way impressively into second place overall at the end of the first lap. The Ferrari led its class for the opening 44-laps but “gentleman” driver Mason lost two positions in the closing nine-laps, nevertheless resulting in a fine third place class finish.
Last weekend’s event was the first of just four Britcar events that do not clash with the GT Cup calendar effectively ruling the duo out of title contention. But they are savouring the massive challenge the demanding GT Cup format will offer. The regulations will force Ross to sit-out qualifying plus two of the four races over a race weekend. Ross and David will make their GT Cup début at Donington Park over 13-14 April before returning to Britcar action at Silverstone again on 27 April.
“I’m really looking forward to the 2019 season which will be a different challenge for David [Mason] and I,” said Wylie. “We’re racing a Ferrari 488 Challenge car for the first time and while we’ll be doing selected Britcar races again, we’re trying our luck in the GT Cup for the first time. We love Britcar but David wants a new challenge and that’s what the GT Cup offers. The new series will be very tough and it’ll take us time to find our feet.
“We’ll do four Britcar events this year as well. We raced a Ferrari 458 last year and the 488 has significantly more horsepower but significantly less downforce making it a completely different beast to drive. The FF Corse team thankfully has a lot of experience running and engineering the 488 and I am confident that we will be challenging for race wins in both Championships this season.
“I enjoyed my weekend back in the car. We didn’t quite get the results we wanted but I enjoyed pushing the new car and was happy with my pace over the weekend. My speed was good compared to the other pro drivers in identical 488s so that was confidence inspiring from my side. I’m already looking forward to getting back out in the Ferrari and hopefully, we can iron out some of the costly mistakes in the pit lane and bounce back.”